Four Icon Challenge: Geography Research Project

Four Icon Challenge: Geography Research Project

  • Fred Benitez

Traditional research papers are great, but what if you could challenge your students to summarize their findings visually instead of just with words? The basic idea of this project — synthesizing a big idea into four simple graphical icons — is infinitely customizable to your curriculum. In our example, students research one of the fifty United States, then find four icons to visually summarize what's great about their state. Using Adobe Illustrator CC, students combine their icons to create promotional posters for their states. As an optional extension, you can challenge students to draw their own icons from scratch instead of using found icons from the web.

This project includes:

  • Lesson plan
  • Illustrator template
  • Technical tutorial
  • Planning worksheet
  • Rubric
  • Example projects
  • Design guidelines

Age Levels

  • 15-16
  • 17-18


  • Humanities
  • Social Sciences

Products used

  • Illustrator